Bronze medalist, Mohamed Ibrahim Elsayed of Egypt celebrates on the podium during the medal ceremony for the men s 67kg Greco-Roman wrestling at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021, in Chiba, Japan. AP
Egyptian wrestler Mohamed ‘Kesho’ Ibrahim El-Sayed has revealed that he wants to follow in the footsteps of Karam Gaber to become an Olympic medallist.
Kesho won the bronze medal in the Greco-Roman 67kg event at the Tokyo Olympics after beating the 2018 World Champion Artem Surkov of Russia on Wednesday.
“Winning an Olympic medal is indescribable. I can’t find the words to describe my happiness,” Kesho told BeIn Sports after his victory.
“I’ve suffered a lot during the past years, and I’m very proud to win a medal in my first Olympic games. Egypt’s last medal in wrestling was in the 2012 Olympics, which was won by Karam Gaber, in whose footsteps I want to follow,” he added.
In 2004, Gaber gave Egypt a precious gold medal at the Athens Olympics, the country’s first gold medal since weightlifter Ibrahim Shams won the gold at the 1948 London Games.
Gaber was close to clinching another gold in the 2012 Olympics in London, but unfortunately lost in the final, winning the silver medal, which was the last medal for Egypt until Kesho’s bronze.
“Winning a bronze medal in Tokyo increases my motivation for the Paris Olympics 2024. With God’s support, I managed to win a very competitive game against Russia’s strong champion,” said the 23-year-old wrestler.
“This is the most difficult game I’ve played in my career, but it is the most beautiful and the toughest medal in my life, when I started to feel that I’m going to win I forgot about my shoulder pain.
“I was injured in my shoulder but everybody was waiting for this game, I tried to overcome any obstacles before the game, just to make Egyptians happy,” he concluded.
Kesho’s medal is the third for Egypt in the Tokyo Olympics, after the two Taekwondo bronze medals won by Hedaya Malak and Sief Eissa.
This is also the eighth Egyptian medal in Greco-Roman wrestling; two gold medals, three silvers, and three bronze medals.